Monday, July 20, 2015

Topbox July 2015 contents and review!

Hope everyone is having a great summer and enjoying the warm weather!
I have not done any Topbox reviews lately as I had some computer issues (broken laptop) and some injuries too...
But I plan to catch up with my reviews eventually...

One small issue I have with Topbox is that I have been subscribing since the very first box and lately the items are quite repetitive. Mascara almost every month, nail polish, eye liner, Arden skincare (yet again...).
Now I do eventually use my samples,but lately could not use any eye products as I had a lot of contact lens problems. My eyes were super irritated and even the sun bothered me a lot.
I seem to be fine for now after not using anything at all in my eye area and use only single use eye drops,so it must be my allergies acting up...

Finally I will just get to the contents of my July 2015 Topbox..... 

JULY 2015 TOPBOX!
*BareMinerals Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara: sample size 1.5ml $3.00/ full size 10ml $18.I do not use mascara every day, at most a couple times a week. Will try to use this soon...



*Blinc eyeliner: sample size 0.7g $3.25/ full size 6ml $26.
I like Blinc products and own their eyelash curler. I did not know they had a eyeliner,but have heard so much about their famous mascara-yet have never tried it.
This sounds really neat- a eyeliner that "peels off" with water and some pressure. I will try this soon...


*Elizabeth Arden Ceramides Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum: sample size 7 capsules $9/ full size 60 capsules $74.
This is a generous sample size and trial with a week's worth of capsules. I'm pretty sure I've tried these many times before and they seem decent. I already like a different product that comes in a similar format from another brand (a 10% vit C product).
But I will try this out for a week and report back...



*OFRA Cosmetics Universal Eyebrow Pencil: full size "sample" 1.13g $13.
This pencil looks like it will last me quite a long time. I naturally have very dark brows and do not really use anything on them. I will try and use this pencil a few times this week and see how that goes.



The total value of my samples this month was...........$26.25
That is good considering the cost of my box is
around $13.
As long as it is not pouring rain this week,I will use my samples and report back.


Topbox info card.


Did you receive a Topbox this month?
What did they send you?









Sunday, July 19, 2015

Ottawa Night Market at Lansdowne Park 2015 photos!

The Ottawa Night Market is one of the first festivals held at the newly renovated Lansdowne Park.
The "night market" is also on for one more day, Sunday July 19 from 2-8 pm.
I was there on the Saturday evening and it was very crowded and there were quite a lot of food tents to check out, but the lines were quite confusing- it was hard to know where to line up and where to pick up your food.
Also a bit hard to tell what kinds of dishes were being sold. There were signs mostly with "Asian text" and the price shown in Canadian dollars.
There was also, oddly enough quite a lot of non-Asian food for sale- like Greek food,Churros,Gelato. frozen custard, blooming onion and potato stand....
There was also a lot of tents selling grilled items and the air was quite smoky due to this.
A lot of places has grilled squid and lamb and there was even Balut for sale.
I saw one guy eat one of those eggs with the baby bird in it and kind of unfortunately said "interesting food,but I do not eat eggs with baby birds in them", but if you like them then good...
I do not eat much meat,and there is a lot of animal products I do not eat,but if other people want to eat them.
Well the Balut was only $3,that is all I have to say about it.





Grilled squid at the market!
I did not get around to trying the squid, it was hard to know where the line started and the lineups were also very long and did not seem to be moving.
The squid was served on a stick and in a paper bag. Watching the workers cook was interesting though.


Oyster omelette!



The oyster omelette seemed like a interesting dish to try,but I did not feel like having eggs. Also,I do not really eat oysters. But if someone gave me this dish I would eat it.
Usually I eat omelette with mushrooms or mushroom and cheese or a vegetable version.
Sign from omelette stand.




Shrimp cakes with fish sauce.




I did buy some shrimp cakes with fish sauce. This was from a Vietnamese table. These were served at room temperature and had vegetables with a shrimp on top. Not too sure what the entire filling was, there might have been eggs in it.
Sticky rice with coconut, sesame and peanut.


After a long walk around I ended up going back to the same table and buying some sticky rice with coconut,peanut and sesame seeds. I think the rice had green tea on it also.
I eat a lot of Vietnamese food,but the place I go to does not really have desserts,so this was interesting to try.

If you have the chance, check out this event. It is free admission and outdoors.
It is also cash only and there are bank machines on Bank st and Whole Foods does cash back also.
The market was neat to attend,but they really need to have more organized lines and maybe some explanations about the foods. I know maybe what half the foods were and the rest,well the signs were not in English,so that did not help me as I was not there with anyone who reads other languages.

Does anyone have any recommendations for what other foods to try. I can always go back Sunday for lunch or dinner....



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Feb 2015 Topbox review!

Finally getting around to reviewing my Feb 2015 Topbox!
It seems I am much slower at posting my reviews about Topbox. I think that one of the main reasons for that is that I have gotten quite a few products that are not as suited for my everyday use.
I have a ton of makeup brushes and so many eye products that it is hard to even use them all up.
At this moment the only subscription to anything I have is Topbox- I've been a "subscriber" since their very first box!!!

Feb 2015 Topbox!


These are the items I received in my Feb 2015 Topbox:


Eyeco: Hydrogel Eye Patch: Sample size- 1 pair, $4.50/ Full size 4 pairs $18.
These eye patches were very refreshing and relaxing to use. My eyes did feel more refreshed after using these. The eye patches are made of a kind of thick gel that is shaped like a half circle.
You just put these under your eyes and then relax for up to 20 minutes while your eyes get a nice treatment.
These would be good after a long day or being in the sun quite a lot.
If you put these in the fridge, they are even more refreshing.
I did not see any change for my dark circles,but my eye area did feel more refreshed and rested.
Also if you are careful and put the eye patches in a ziplock bag it is possible to get one more use out of these. (I did reuse these a couple days later,so I think that would be fine. not weeks later as this is for the eye area).

There is fragrance in this product, but it did not bother me and was not very noticeable.
I would buy this product, it was a relaxing treat.


L'Occitane: Almond Shower Oil: Sample size 30ml, $3/ Full size 250ml $24.
This is a product I have always wanted to try!
I was quite happy to receive this shower oil as my skin is extremely dry during the winter.
The shower oil had a light almond scent and was not overpowering at all.
Usually I use a fragrance-free shower oil, but this was a nice change.
If you use this oil with a bath puff there is a lot more foam and bubbles that if you used just your hands or a washcloth.
You do not need a lot of product when using this. I would buy this shower oil next time I pass by one of the Occitane shops!

Dermadoctor, Inc. :KP duty lotion: Sample size 30ml, 
My Topbox card said I should have received the Picture Porefect pore minimizer. I was sent the famous KP duty lotion instead.
I will have to try this on my dry elbows as I do not have "KP chicken skin".
The tube has a picture of a chicken and I keep on reading about this brand and how KP looks like chicken skin....
30ml is a good size to try and see how a product works for you!

SPRING! is finally here! Great time for some new resolutions...

Hi all!
Spring is finally here and all the snow has melted in my city.
The trees and grass are green again, what better time to make some new spring resolutions.

My first resolution will be to post more on my blog. I have really slacked off on this for too many reasons to list.
I am going to aim for one post every two days.
Now I am not sure if I should keep my blog format the same- posting about cosmetics and some food posts.
Would a separate food blog be better?
I do have a ton of food related posts and it might make more sense to separate the two subjects.

Resolution #2 will be to get out more and enjoy all the local festivals Ottawa has to offer.
The tulip festival is on right now and there are tons of lovely tulips all over the city!


My indoor gardening!




I'll end my post with this lovely flower that I grew indoors this winter.
This was from a Amaryllis kit purchased from the grocery store! My plant got so tall and ended up being higher than my kitchen counter.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Topbox Jan 2015 review! First box of the year!

This is my first Topbox for the new year!
I was very exited and was hoping my box would be better than the last few. My last couple boxes were good, but too similar and quite repetitive and I just never got around to posting my reviews.

I have been a Topbox subscriber since the very first box and I find lately there is just too much anti-age and eyelash items. I only have one face and have so many creams I may never run out.
Some of the products not suited for me are always passed along- family and friends are always pleased about that!

What was in my mailbox...a cute tube in the purple envelope!


My January 2015 Topbox items:





My first thoughts on this box are that it seems allright. I was kind of hoping for some body products as it is winter and I use so much body cream and have very dry hands too....
The first item I opened was:

So Susan Dual Brow Powder: full size! 4g, value $18
I  do not really use brow products and already have dark brows. But this seems like a nice product and I will try it out. It has 2 matte brown shades and a nice angle brush.
I will update once I tidy up my brows and use this a few times.
This is a British brand and the packaging states the powder is formulated in Italy and packaging made in China. That is good to know!

Update: I still have very dark brows and do not really use anything on them. A clear brow gel would have been a better product for me.

Matrix Oil Wonders: 10ml per packet- shampoo and conditioner x2, value:
There is enough for me to try on my hair twice. My hair is curly and past shoulder length. Matrix is a good salon brand,so I will see how this stacks up to the other Argan oil products I've tried from the salons!

Update: The shampoo was nice and I did manage to get 2 uses out of each packet. My hair type is dry, curly and thin hair. This shampoo was nice and the scent was fine. It would have been nicer to have the matching conditioner to try...


Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future spf 30 cream: 7ml, sample jar. Full size 50ml $60
Another spf cream. I guess it is useful as you need to wear sunscreen during the winter too. I will try this out the next couple days and report back....
My first impression is the cream is very light on my hand, but also quite fragranced. I am quite sensitive to fragranced face products.

Eyeko Mascara Off Eye Makeup Remover Wipes: 10pc package, value $12
This looks like it is a full size product. It sounds like a good product, but I do not use waterproof mascara often. I will try to use this soon...

Update: I did some travelling and brought the mascara wipes wipes with me, but did not wear any eye makeup the whole week. Usually I do not wear waterproof makeup, but with all the rain here this spring that might change...

*If you have used any of these products I'd like to know what you thought!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Foodiepages January 2015 Tasting Box!

Finally! I got my hands on one of the very limited edition Foodiepages.ca January 2015 Tasting Box!
Well, that was quite a mouthful of words to say....YUM!
I will do a "virtual unboxing". Here is how my box came in the mail:

First opening of my Jan 2015 Foodiepages box!

Next, I dug out all the well packaged products for this lovely picture...

Foodiepages items I received!










I started tasting the many items in my box as soon as I opened it. The Bushman's Bar was opened and very tasty- I might have forgotten to take a picture of the opened bar. The Coconut energy bites were tasted, as was the granola. I also made some nachos with the spinach sauce.
So far the only item I have not opened was the hot sauce. A more in-depth review will follow...


Granola Granade from Lovin' Every Batch (Toronto,ON):
This was one of the first products I tried. The packaging was really cute and has that handmade feel. The tag for the kind of granola was handwritten and pinned to the product bag. I like how there is a little heart cut out on the product tag- there is a lot of attention to detail in how this product is made.
The product description states the granola is vegan and gluten-free, that is always good to know!
There was a lot of nuts in the granola and it was not too sweet. It was quite filling and good for a snack or in between meals.
I did not see the company info up on Foodiepages yet and there was no website other than their Facebook page at the moment, so I'm guessing this is a fairly new company...

Lovin' Every Batch Granola Grenade!






Jalapeno Gin Hot Sauce from Andy the Butcher!



Jalapeno Gin Hot Sauce from Andy the Butcher (Ottawa,ON): 
I like that this product is made in Ottawa because I try to buy a lot of local and Canadian foods when possible. I have not opened this sauce yet,but I am sure it can be used on so many things- like vegetables,meats,soups. I do not eat very spicy foods,so I'll try this sometime soon....



Nomz Energy Bites!


Coconut Energy Bites from Nomz (Toronto,ON):
These energy bites were quite tasty and more filling than I expected.
There was 6 bites in the package and each one is 19g. That is a good size for a snack and it is easy to eat one of these. The energy bites also travel well and did not fall apart in the package.
I also like how the ingredients are simple and this is a low sodium product. The bites are made up of PECANS,DATES,ALMONDS,COCONUT,ORGANIC COCOA, COCONUT OIL.
If you like dates and nuts with a bit of chocolate then this is something you would like!
I am going to try and check out the other bites by Nomz soon!



Tomato Sauce from Aldanel!

Spinach Carnival Tomato Sauce from Aldanel (Charlottetown PE):
The description for the sauce lists it as being versatile for pasta,nachos,vegetables and more...
All Canadian Ingredient Nachos!
The sauce was opened as soon as I read this as I was hungry and it was dinner time. I made some nachos with the sauce and they were delicious. This sauce would be great on pasta or pretty much anything.
This is not a spicy sauce and that is great as many people can not handle too many spices. The portion size is also great for one or two people with not too much left over or waste. This sauce is also affordable and the company charges a flat rate for shipping!
My nachos were made with all Canadian ingredients- local cheese and tortilla chips.
The nachos deserve their own review.
Even my place mat was locally made by a lady who does weaving!


Bushman's Bar!


The Bushman's Bar from Boreal Berry Bar (Austin MB):
This is a bar that is made of dried berries and seeds that are blended together. I kind of expected there to be pieces of berry and seeds and not such a solid "blended" bar.
I thought I had taken a picture of the bar before I ate it and I guess I did not...
The bar is quite filling and was good- there is a lot more ingredients than I expected for a berry bar- was more expecting just a bar with seeds,berries and honey.
This reminds me more of the sports bars and is a kind of bar that would travel well if you do sports. The nutrition for the bar is very good- there is 9 grams of protein in a 60 gram bar and 9 grams of fat. Also 240 calories and 10% of daily iron and calcium requirements!
If I see this bar I will pick a couple up.

Overall I enjoyed the January Foodiepages box and had never heard of any of these products before!
So this was a very fun and tasty experience!

New year!! More writing coming soon...

January has crept up on me and before I knew it the month is almost over!
I did not get around to posting any holiday posts, but hopefully everyone is keeping warm this winter.
This year there will be a lot of reviews, food and how-to posts coming soon......